The Art Of Natural Family Planning In The Light Of John F. Kippley (A Philosophical Approach)

Project and Seminar Material for Philosophy

The Art Of Natural Family Planning In The Light Of John F. Kippley (A Philosophical Approach)

Table of Contents

  • Title
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Table Of Contents
  • General Introduction
  • Statement Of The Problem
  • Purpose Of Study
  • Scope Of Study
  • Methodology Of Research
  • Literature Review

Chapter One

Nature of Family Planning

  • 1.1 What Is Family Planning
  • 1.2 Origin Of Family Planning

Chapter Two

Kinds of Family Planning

  • 2.1.0 Natural Family Planning
  • 2.1.1 Kinds Of Natural Family Planning
  • 2.1.2 The Calendar Method
  • 2.1.2 The Basal Temperature Method (B.B.T)
  • 2.1.4 The Ovulation Method (O.M)
  • 2.1.5 The Sympto-Therminal Method (S.T)
  • 2.2.0 The Artificial Method of Family Planning
  • 2.2.1 Contraceptives
  • 2.2.2 Abortifacients
  • 2.2.3 Silent Abortion
  • 2.2.4 Direct Abortion

Chapter Three

J. F. Kippley and Natural Family Planning

  • 3.1 Marriage and Family Planning
  • 3.2 The Effectiveness of Natural Family Planning at Preventing and Achieving Pregnancy
  • 3.3 Factors Militating Against the Practice of Natural Family Planning

Chapter Four

Critical Evaluation and Conclusion

  • 4.1 Critical Evaluation
  • 4.2 Comparison Of The Two Methods Of Family Planning
  • 4.3 Conclusion
  • Bibliography

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Chapter Four

Critical Evaluation and Conclusion

4.1 Critical Evaluation

Having come towards the end of my work, the task at hand here is to access the overall worth of Kippley’s ethical and moral philosophy. In other words, giving a critical evaluation of Kippley’s thought in general.

No one may doubt the enormous achievements and contributions of John F. Kippley, both to philosophy and to knowledge in general. Consequently, my main concern here is to evaluate his stand on the method of natural family planning as a solution towards achieving and postponing pregnancies. To do this well, I will expose what I consider the merits and demerits of each of the two methods of family planning.

4.2 Comparison of the Two Methods of Family Planning

In comparing the two methods of family planning, we are to consider them in terms of five headings for the sake of clear comprehension and equality. These headings are: safe assurance, promotion of good health, disease effect, effectiveness and consumption of resources.

Safe Assurance

Natural family planning is safe in the sense that it uses no birth control drugs. Its application is natural and therefore safe since it involves no artificial means. It should be noted that every drug has its potential side effects and one does not take a drug product unless it is necessary to cure or to relieve something which may be wrong with the person. But then, fertility as we know is a normal and natural process, and not a disease or disorder. Birth control chemicals are at best unnecessary drugs as far as natural fertility is concerned. One should not be deceived into thinking that birth control drugs are hundred percent safe. They are not and even various companies that are involved in the production of these drugs had not claimed otherwise. Note that most intrauterine devices had been banned in America and other places. In June 1993, Canada banned the use of Depo-Provera because of health related problems. Also, some physicians have linked chemical spermicides with birth defects.

Promotion of Good Health

When we talk about which of the two methods of family planning that is promoting good health, we must note that the use of natural family planning promotes and encourages good health in two ways. Firstly, with natural family planning, one would be able to detect whether she has normal or abnormal cycle pattern. An abnormal cycle pattern in the person is an indication that something might be wrong and thus, health attention is sought on time.

Natural family planning helps one to improve her diet so that she would be able to maintain and learn more about her menstrual cycles. Thus, many women appreciate the self-awareness they develop in natural family planning. Some women express a sense of satisfaction from knowing just where they are in their periodic cycle. A former user of contraception asserted that whenever her period was three days late, she used to worry about being pregnant. When she started natural family planning, she was very skeptical. Within six months, she became very confident. She also found that she was no longer fearful when her period begins late.

Women can develop a better understanding of their bodily and emotional states through fertility awareness. But then, artificial method of planning cannot guarantee these measures since one never cares about her cycles while applying the artificial method of family panning. All that it cares is the prevention of a woman’s normal cycles from flowing.


Both methods of family planning are highly effective in preventing and postponing pregnancies. On the other hand, both of them has also their failure rates in the sense that they are not always hundred percent effective in preventing pregnancies at all times. One advantage of artificial method of family planning over the natural family planning is that while artificial family planning is always applicable at all times even during the period of irregular cycles, the temperature and calendar method of natural family planning are not always effective during the irregular cycles like during the time of adverse weather conditions and breastfeeding. But then and generally, naturally family planning is highly effective than artificial family planning even when they are applied according to description and prescription. This is because facts had shown that many women who practice some methods of artificial family planning still ovulate and conceive. For instance, some women who were into the practice of RU 486, Norplant and Depo-Provera were noted to have conceived while using the medication. Again, even though the coil is popular for preventing pregnancy, it has not always been effective, as some children have been born playing with the coil in their hands. And finally, some methods of abortion like the saline method and prostaglandin abortion sometimes fail to kill the life of the baby in the womb. But then, one of the greatest and important advantages of natural family planning in this perspective over the artificial family planning is that natural family planning can be used in achieving pregnancy especially in those couples that have been finding it very hard to conceive while artificial method of family planning is only interested in preventing pregnancies.

Consumption of Resource

When we consider the financial cost that is involved in obtaining the services of each of the two methods of family planning, one would actually notice that the practice of natural family planning is very much inexpensive and in most cases, the practices are almost free. But then, people who go into artificial method of family planning must always pay for the services. For instance, it was discovered that in a research which was done in the USA in 1993-1994 that women were paying as much as $17- $20 per month for the pill. What a waste of money compared to natural family whose services are entirely free. Again since the use of natural family planning is safe and harmless, one would always be free from the after effects, which the artificial method of family planning will cause. And when you are inflicted by the adverse conditions of the artificial method of family, it is then money that you will use in treating and bringing yourself back to good health again. Consequently, natural family planning is cheap and is therefore suitable especially for the third world countries and other developing countries where poverty is reigning.

Disease Effects

One place natural family planning will always stand out is the area that it would never cause you any disease while the application of the artificial method of family planning can cause various types of diseases to you. Natural family planning rather than causing you any disease would on the other hand help you to be safe from diseases and would even help you to improve your health. But then, the practice of artificial family planning can expose one to various diseases like breast cancer, Stroke, severe bleeding, sterility, repeated miscarriages, blindness, perforations, infections, blood cloth, birth defects, infertility, cervical cancer, brain hemorrhage, liver tumor which can lead to death. The most commonly used methods of birth control are, to put it bluntly, killers. Condoms sometimes break or slip and thus allow the transmission of AIDS and deadly venereal diseases. The intra-uterine device has killed scores of women. The birth prevention pill has killed more than twenty thousand women through cardiovascular and other complications over the last thirty years in the United States alone, and has been classified unavoidably unsafe by the courts . Natural family planning is not only free of side effects, but it lets women know and read their bodies so well that they may be able to detect certain diseases and injuries to their reproductive systems earlier than they would have been able to otherwise. The ability to track symptoms and anomalies can save lives in cases of various cancers of the female reproductive tract.

Finally, natural family planning can do one thing that no method of “birth control” can ever do: Help a couple get pregnant. In fact, many infertility centers begin their investigations of a couple by teaching them the basics of natural family planning (primarily temperature taking) and having them observe the woman’s cycles for several months in order to time intercourse for periods of maximum fertility.

For instance, a study on the medical histories of forty seven thousand women showed that those who used oral contraceptives had a significantly higher incidence of cervical cancer than none users3. Again, in the works of Palmer and his co-workers who studied up to five hundred and twenty four cases of the pill’s effect in African- American women who were between the ages of twenty-five to fifty-nine years; they reported:
Women who are lesser than forty-five years has a hundred and eighty percent greater chance of developing breast cancer after three or more years of using the pill than non-users4.

Again, spermicides cause vaginal and penile discomfort, irritation, soreness or itching, and also urinary tract infection in those who use them during sexual intercourse5.

John in his work stated concerning abortion as follows:

Over 20 of these studies indicated that women who abort their first pregnancy have a much higher risk… almost double … of developing cancer… with 2 or more abortions; there is a 3-4-fold increase6.

5.3 Conclusion

Having thus seen the comparison of the two methods of family planning, I would agree with Kippley on his stand that natural family planning is better and safer to use than artificial method of family planning. My stand follows from the fact that from the comparison of the two methods of family planning. It is vividly clear and obvious that the practice of artificial method of family planning is not reliable; it is unnatural and prone to various dangers and calamities. I will then believe with J. Knight and Joan in their views concerning the dangers and evils of abortion:
If prenatal human beings are to be recognized as full-fledged persons, it follows that those who kill them for reasons less compelling than self-defense must be recognized as full-fledged murderers and treated as such. Those who are rigorously opposed to allowing elective abortion on the ground that prenatal human beings are persons must confront this implication sincerely and sensitively, and they must be explicit about what they are willing to accept as the practical implications of their position. If they are not willing to accept that those who abort should be subject to exactly the same treatment as others who murder, then they need to recognize that they do not really believe that prenatal human beings have the moral status of persons. And this is true of those who hold that such matters should be left up to the individual states, since states are not, in other cases, free to allow those who murder innocent persons to be at large in the community7.

However, even though that the practice of natural family planning would claim to be the better method in place of the artificial method of family planning, and also bringing to fore the choice and stand of Kippley in identifying with natural family planning in place of the artificial method of family planning, I must nevertheless point out the fact that there are yet problems and criticisms against the practice of natural family planning and some of these criticisms and problems so to say have been undermining the practice and the progress of natural family planning. Some of these problems and criticisms are seen below.

The first problem I will present here is the fact that the application and result are not hundred percent effective, as some couples had conceived even when they were practicing the method normally. Again, there are calls from certain critics that some older methods of natural family planning like the Calendar and Temperature methods are no more reliable in this present age since these two methods are not always easy to count during irregular cycles, and so many couples who are into these methods have been extremely embarrassed with pregnancies even when they do not desire for that. They are of the view that these two methods should have at least been dropped and replaced with newer and more effective methods.

On the next hand, it is noted that the practice of some natural family planning are yet still affected by irregular cycles and are always difficult to calculate especially during adverse weather conditions, breastfeeding, when one is stopping the pills and other adverse and irregular conditions. It is therefore of my view that those methods of natural family planning that have been linked with these inadequacies should at least be modified and restructured so as to have taken note of irregular cycles.

Furthermore, another great problem that would ever continue to undermine the practice of natural family planning is the fact that ignorance and illiteracy had eaten deep into the human race. It is just clear that before one goes into the practice of natural family planning, he or she must be well informed about its benefits and applications for effective outcome. It is therefore a great set back towards the progress of natural family planning when a greater percentage of men cannot read nor write; how then do we expect these people to be able to do the systematic and scientific calculations that are involved in some methods of natural family planning that has to do with systematic and scientific recording of facts. It is therefore based on this reason that I would still insist that the temperature and calendar methods of family planning that involves these systematic and scientific calculations should be modified and restructured so that even the most ignorant person will be able to undergo the practice in simple and clear applications.

Moreover, for the fact that the practice of natural family planning is time wasting and time consuming, a lot of people are therefore becoming dissatisfied with the method especially when it has to do with complete abstinence of sexual intercourse on the fertility days. Consequently, those who cannot allow their sex urge to wait would have no other way but to embrace the practice of artificial family planning.

Finally, one important issue that have been learnt from the whole issue of family planning is the fact that the practice of natural family planning as we have seen, is outstanding in the sense that it can be used or applied in three ways: it can be used in preventing pregnancies; it can also be used in achieving pregnancies and lastly; it can also be used in spacing babies through the practice of ecological breastfeeding.

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